Dreamstime

The latest problem with VA’s new Veteran ID card

Jonathan Kaupanger
April 10, 2018 - 11:13 am
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Oopsie! There are more than 13,000 veterans or active duty military who won’t be able to get the new VA ID card, even if they have an honorable discharge.

By law, the US Public Health Service (USPHS) and commissioned officers of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Aministration (NOAA) are veterans, so they are entitled to all the benefits and services that Veterans Affairs offers...except for the free veterans ID card, that is.

Part of the process to get the ID card requires a person to select a branch of service where they worked. Both USPHS and NOAA are just not listed on the drop down box and so the card can’t even be requested by these veterans.

This is just the most recent issues in a series of problems with this card. Since the rollout of the card – which was delayed by a year - the ID card has been plagued with issues like website accessibility, printing and shipping delays. 

The card, mandated by a 2015 law, was supposed to be a way for veterans who either simply didn’t use VA services or those who couldn’t use them to prove that they were in fact a veteran.

They cannot be used to access VA benefits or get onto a military installation. They are not legal, federal ID cards, meaning you can’t board a plane with one or use it to prove that you are of legal age to buy a beer.

VA began taking applications for the new card in November of 2017. Shortly after that, the website crashed due to an overwhelming response. Veterans were asked to leave their email address to a waiting list and then would be notified by VA when they could finish the application process. 

However, there are other ways, easier ways it seems, to prove that you are a vet.

If you are one of the 9 million veterans enrolled in the VA healthcare system, you probably have a Veteran Health ID Card. You can use your Health ID card to access VA care and prove that you served, you can also use a proof of service letter.  You can get this at the VA/DoD eBenefits website.  This is a legal document that proves you received an honorable discharge.  

VA has been notified about the new glitch. If you would like to apply for your Veteran ID Card, you can find the link here, at the bottom of the page. 

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